In This Week’s Show, episode 264 we venture down medical history lane to find the finest headwear to match our delightful pigeon shoes.
Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while The Erlking hasn’t struck us down yet, we are trying his patience! (King of the Fairies)
Shea’s Life Lesson
In honor of Shelley: This week I learned that in West Virginia you can’t substitute a ferret for a hunting dog… Well, legally that is. Oh and also in WV, it’s legal for a male to have sex with an animal as long as it does not exceed 40 lbs, so that ferret better watch out.
Jenn’s Actual Lesson
Jenn’s out this week so in her honor I learned a silly state law from Georgia, apparently, You cannot keep a donkey in your bathtub. However, in Arizona it’s okay to let your donkey stand in the tub, but they cannot sleep in the bathtub.
But before we get to all that, let’s have a beer!
This Week’s Beer
Gamma Ray – Terrapin Beer Co.
Donated By: Travis
- BA Link: https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/2372/45275/
- BA Rating: 86
- Style: American Wheatwine Ale
- ABV: 10.8%
- Aaron: 2
- Shea: 2
- Steve: 3
This Week’s Show
- Mr. Jonathan (The Amazing Johnathan?)
- Joseph (Did he bring his dream coat?)
- Jesse from Jersey!
- Mr. Bible Pants
Menstraint’n With Satan: https://thesatanictemplearizona.com/campaigns/menstruatin-with-satan/
Or others you may want to support:
Wolfenoot was an amazing success on Nov 23rd, with many taking to Facebook and Twitter to show off their moon cakes and celebrate their pets! https://twitter.com/realwolfenoot
Available now at http://patreon.com/w4w
Mental Illness, Yee-Oldie Remedies, and you.
As you’ve heard on this show in the past, and I think you’re about to hear from Shea, being afflicted in any way back in the day probably meant more trouble from the cure than the cause. Unless you were rich, then gout wasn’t a disease so much as an indication of your wealth… A far cry from previous cultures identifiers of wealth, like being clean or wearing money.
The usual suspects like leprosy or cheese-ankle were easy to diagnose. The person had a festering gross and were given a life-time prescription for a hut in the leper colony. If you were a person of standing who could pay to have your illness treated you were probably bled, given bird-based footwear, or in the unfortunate eventuality that you have a vagina, drugged, shamed, and probably murdered for hysteria.
Mental illnesses however, were often treated on a case-by-case bases. For example, if your wife is exhibiting symptoms of hysteria — the only thing women ever got sick with before modern medicine streamlined and vouled-up the process of ignoring them — you were probably afflicted with a uterus-moving demon which requires a healthy dose of lognum and some dick. If, however, you were hearing voices and a man, the diagnoses was somewhat simpler. Clearly you had a bad case of possession and without the life-saving power of getting dicked the only real treatment was flogging, imprisonment, and finally a not-at-all fatal bit of trepanning.
I will say this for back-in-the-day psychiatrics, the treatment menu was sparse enough to be easily read regardless of your mental development… or literacy.
With that in mind, if you suffered from mental illness back in the day — assuming for all of these that you’re not grieved by the possession of a vagina — you might just be unlucky enough to be cured by…
How might Ancient Egyptians, and Greeks, help treat your night terrors and/or generally fitful sleep?
They would help you sooth your “disordered mind” by giving you just a fucking ton of psychodelic drugs and then put you in a labyrinth.
The practice was known as “incubation.” The basic idea was that if you ate enough opium, or whatever they had on hand, and wandered a maze until you fell, exhausted, into a fitful rage-sleep the priests would know what’s wrong with you. The Egyptians drugged you so much that you nearly died. The idea being that the closer to overdose you are the easier it would be for Isis to sing you the song of sanity. The Greeks, however, would pamper and baith you until you were too drunk and high to move then they’d leave you in a maze to go insane, because insane + insaner = sane.
What if someone was so mentally ill that they were a danger to themselves or others?
That’s right, torture.
Roman writer Celsus thought people suffering from madness would respond to starvation, beatings, frightening events, and general torment. The idea was that the “shock” would frighten… or pain… the mind back into equilibrium.
More specifically, how would Celsus cure rabies?
That’s right, by tossing you into a fish pond. The end.
A book called the Huangdi neijing , from around 200 BC in ancient China, carries a host of medical recommendations, including the idea that starvation was good for the mad. “As treatment for such an excited condition,” it notes, “withholding food was suggested since food was considered to be the source of positive force and the patient was thought to be need of a decrease in such force.”
Following Alfred the Great’s educational reforms mental illness treatments took a drastic turn. In the Bald’s Leechbook, an Old English medical text, treatments were much improved. How might Bald have treated a mentally ill person who totally, for sure, didn’t have a demon possessing them?
That’s right, a little soft music, some prayer, the usual holy water cleansing and an herbal concoction of mandrake (yep, that loud one) and of course a nice night cap… by which I mean a hat made out of Lamb lungs.
In 1628 Daniel Oxenbridge, an Oxford Fellow of the College of Physicians, treated a women by cutting her head to let the bad blood out, fed her cider, shaved her hair off, and then fed her laudanum — all standard treatments — but finished each night with a flourish of his own medical genius, he gave her a lamb or pigeon lung to wear on her smooth head.
What other fantastic remedies does Bald’s Leechbook offer?
Lightening round! How would you cure:
- Headaches? That’s right, by tying a crosswort stalk to your head with a red cloth
- Frost bite? of course by covering with a mix of eggs, wine, and fennel root.
- Limp Dick? Agrimony (a weed) boiled in Milk, boiling in beer would cause the opposite effect.
- Your horse has back problems? Carve “Bless all the works of the Lord of lords” into the handle of a dagger and stab and elf.
Shea- Changeling Times
Back in Ye Oldie times you were lucky to make it to adolescence, infant mortality rates were incredibly high, like 30-50%, high. Babies were susceptible to many diseases, also low understanding of safety standards and open wells didn’t help, I actually read an article about toddlers falling in wells. If you were lucky and managed to avoid those nasty diseases, osha mishaps, and falling in a well you still weren’t home free, there is always a chance you may be kidnapped and replaced by fairies.
A changeling is a human-like creature found in folklore throughout Europe. A changeling was believed to be a fairy child that had been left in place of a human child that had been stolen by fairies. According to legend, the abducted human children are given to the devil or used to strengthen fairy stock.
Tell-tale signs that the fairies had replaced a child with one of their own kind included: incessant crying and refusing to settle; unusual facial features or curiously distorted limbs; constant feeding at the mother’s breast, without ever seeming satisfied. They may also display intelligence far beyond their apparent years, as well as possess uncanny insight. A common way that a changeling could be identified is by displaying unusual behaviour when it thinks it’s alone, such as jumping, dancing or playing. Oh fuck so now you have a changeling… What now?
One way that was believed to return the original child was by making the changeling laugh or by torturing it; this latter belief was responsible for numerous cases of actual child abuse. There are many variations on the story, but the Brothers Grimm summed up the main components of a typical changeling story from mid-19th-century Germany: (Yes changeling were still prevalent up into the 19th century)
“A mother had her child taken from the cradle by elves. In its place they laid a changeling with a thick head and staring eyes who would do nothing but eat and drink. In distress she went to her neighbor and asked for advice. The neighbor told her to carry the changeling into the kitchen, set it on the hearth, make a fire, and boil water in two eggshells. That should make the changeling laugh, and if he laughs it will be all over with him. The woman did everything just as her neighbor said. When she placed the eggshells filled with water over the fire, the changeling said:
‘Now I am as old
As the Wester Wood,
But have never seen anyone cooking in shells!’
And he began laughing about it. When he laughed, a band of little elves suddenly appeared. They brought the rightful child, set it on the hearth, and took the changeling away.”
Now the strange thing about changelings, because the rest of this is easy to swallow, is that these stories pop up all over Europe. Many of these places hadn’t had much contact with each other, and like the dancing sickness became a cultural phenomenon, from England, Spain, Germany, Scandinavia, even Poland. So, on the assumption that the changeling phenomenon was culturally important through the Middle Ages to the 19th century; where did it come from, why was it popularized, and why did the belief end so definitively, while other faerie beliefs continued? Maybe even more importantly; what does the phenomenon mean?
I think I may have cracked it. Also, yes, I am that smart!
To figure out what may have happened, it’s easier if we work backwards. Changeling stories completely stopped by the end of the 19th century, after that they have never popped up again. The only reason something like that would happen, I believe, is because of some discovery that absolutely destroyed the notion of fairy children. Also if you look at the signs of having a changeling and throw out some of the crazy ones you’re left with symptoms that are easy to type in to WebMD. Incessant crying and refusing to settle, constant feeding at the mother’s breast, displaying intelligence far beyond their apparent years. I would also wonder if these children had trouble with social cues, avoiding eye contact, and had delayed speech and communication skills. I’m willing to bet all of Aaron’s money they did.
I’m sure many of you have put together the pieces and have come to the same conclusion I have, all of the changeling children have received a vaccine! Oh wait… Never mind those were first used in the beginning of the 19th century and wouldn’t account for all the stories before hand. Though at the turn of the century (1911) German psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler coined a new word, Autism, to describe a symptom of the most severe cases of schizophrenia, another concept of his. A Lot of Dr. Bleuler concepts were absolute shit about Autism, but for now we have symptoms and a name and similar cases popping up around the world.
Autism spectrum disorders, as they are now called since 2013, are developmental disorders, which means that signs become apparent as a child does not develop as expected, for example developing speech or learning to crawl later than expected. As such, there are few signs of autism that are noticeable in newborns. However, if a baby fails to reach the developmental milestones expected at two months old, four months old, six months old, nine months old and a year old, this could be one of the first signs of autism or other developmental conditions.
Also you may notice that milestones happen on a schedule much like vaccines… also these symptoms develop as the child grows older, almost feeling like they changed overnight or shortly after receiving a scheduled vaccine (I’m not making any anti-vaxx statements, I’m just painting a picture). In the middle ages seeing a baby that one day seems interested and bright eyed change to a child that fusses constantly and uninterested in anything would drive you straight to the church or looking for some vengeful entity to curse.
Hey as a happy happenstance this also proves why there wasn’t any mention of Autism before vaccines were created, as vaccines were only invented in 1796 and Autism was named in 1911. You see, there was Autism throughout history we just had different names for it. Also I haven’t been able to find proof that changeling children abductions increased in the 115 years between vaccines and the naming of Autism.
Continuing our Patron quiz for curing the yee-oldie brain fails, let’s move into the reasonably modern era.
If you want to find out how the Egyptians did it, or how to cure your horse’s lower back problems, visit http://patreon.com/w4w right now!
Panel, as we moved forward mental illness stopped being stigmatized as demonic possession and we all talked about it openly. The end. Right?…
No, of course not.
As drilling holes in peoples heads fell out of fashion the medical world developed a number of fantastic cures for… something.
For example, if a patient had fits of schizophrenia and didn’t respond to opium, what might you give them as a treatment?
That’s right, a huge, unnecessary, dose of insulin. The goal was to put you into an insulin coma for 1 to 4 hours. And, if you lived… and, if you woke up, you’d be totally, 100% not at all cured but way too sick to be a threat to yourself or anyone else. Most patients wound up obese and brain dead.
If in the late 19th and early 20th century you suffered from a bad case of being an insufferable bitch, or to use the medically correct terminology, hysteria, how might yee-oldie doctors have helped you?
That’s right, Hydrotherapy. Often this would mean tying you up porno-style then roping you into a bathtub full of ice water for hours. The idea was to “shock” the mental illness out of your system. Of course, when that didn’t work they could go to the extremes of Hot-Hydrotherapy which, much like hot yoga, forced you into uncomfortable positions and then warmed you up… with scalding water… until all your toxins leaked out. And totally for real no one ever gets heat stroke from that and dies. At all. Ever.
But what, panel, might a doctor do if you didn’t respond sensibly to alternating freezing to death and being boiled?
Of course the surgical option. Dr. Henry Cotton was a psychiatrist who, during the first half of the 20th century, realized that all mental illness was actually the result of untreated, hidden, infections. With that totally-true fact be created “surgical bacteriology,” in which the good doctor would open you up and remove any organs that didn’t look quite right. The process was continued until you were better, out of organs, or dead.
Some patients were afraid of surgical solutions and so medicine advanced to help them as well. Panel, if you suffered from neurological effects of syphilis and removing your brain wasn’t an option, what was the next best thing?
That’s right, malaria.
So this one is actually kind of a mix-bag. The idea was that they’d give you malaria and… hmm… them profit. But sometimes, when the malaria didn’t fucking kill you, it had a chance of curing your syhpilis because the malaria-fevor would spike your body temp and kill off the sypholitic bacteria.
So there you go. When therapy isn’t an option start with a little light drug use, some starvation, and maybe a bit of blood letting before wearing an animal’s lungs as a hat and intentionally giving yourself malaria. And just like that, no one will ever call you crazy again.
Next Week’s Beer
Oro de Calabaza – Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
- Donated By: Steve E
- BA Link: https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/9897/18975/
- BA Rating: 92
- Style: French Bière de Garde
- ABV: 8%
Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee have joined forces to help Syrian refugee children through educational learning programs, including the launch of a new “Sesame Street” in Arabic.
When families are fleeing, trying to find a sense of safety even if it means risking their lives to do so, these children are robbed of more than just the experiences of playgrounds and movie theaters. They are robbed of their education.
“Less than 2% of all humanitarian aid funding goes on education, even though half of the world’s refugees are kids,” IRC president and CEO David Miliband said in a recent interview on “60 Minutes.”
Today, the average time a refugee is displaced is 20 years, according to Miliband. IRC or International Rescue Committee is an international humanitarian aid, relief, and development non governmental organization started in 1933 by Einstein.
In 2016″Sesame Street,” announced that they would be partnering up to launch a new program called “Ahlan Simsim,” or “Welcome Sesame” in Arabic. The two organizations won a $100 million MacArthur Foundation award in 2017 for the plan, which involved two major initiatives: a “Sesame Street” show with Arabic-speaking characters and the development of services that reach refugee children directly.
Sesame Workshop began creating the locally produced Arabic-version of “Sesame Street” earlier this year. The first season of “Ahlan Simsim,” aimed at children ages 3-8, will air locally across the Middle East beginning in February 2020 and will also be available digitally, according to Sesame Workshop.
The show stars two main characters: Jad, a young boy Muppet who is new to the neighborhood, and Basma, a Muppet girl who happily befriends him. Ma’zooza, a baby goat, follows the two around wherever they go. Beloved “Sesame Street” characters like Cookie Monster, Elmo, and Grover will also make appearances.
Season one of “Ahlan Simsim” is not only about learning the alphabet or counting from one to 10. The show aims to teach social-emotional skills, including “coping strategies like counting to five and belly breathing,” according to its executive producer.
“We know from research that these ’emotional ABCs’ are especially important for kids who’ve experienced the trauma of war and displacement,” they said in an article written about the project.
Sesame Workshop held brainstorming workshops in Lebanon and Jordan before producing the show to bring together art therapists, psychologists and writers to help develop the curriculum. After realizing that children were struggling to find the language they needed to express emotions, which is crucial for managing their feelings, the team behind “Ahlan Simsim” decided to make that the focus.
“A big part of the program is doing research in order to learn what works and what doesn’t for children in crisis settings,” Hallie Ruvin, spokesperson for Sesame Workshop, told CNN. “There is little research out there about what interventions work best, and ‘Ahlan Simsim’ will double the existing evidence base,” through research conducted by NYU’s Global TIES for Children Center.
By sharing its findings, the program aims to encourage governments and other humanitarian organizations to learn from “Ahlan Simsim” to incorporate similar programs and invest in early childhood in crisis settings, according to Ruvin.
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